This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, by continuing to walk through the parable of the sower. Jesus said:
“The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. That is like some people who hear the teaching of God. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.
Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it. But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives. They keep it only a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
And others are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.” (Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
We have been focusing in on the phrase, “the love of money”. Once again, money in and of itself is not evil. Paul told his spiritual son Timothy that, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Tim 6:10). The Bible does not teach against believers having money. The Bible is actually full of examples where God caused people to increase financially. But the Bible does teach, in a very clear way, against believers putting their trust or confidence in money.
Later in Paul’s letter to his son, Pastor Timothy, the Apostle said, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Tim 6:17-19 NIV). Let’s glean some golden nuggets from this today.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. The Apostle Paul gave clear instructions to those who posses earthly wealth. He taught them to:
a) Remain humble. It often seems like earthly riches fuel arrogance. But God can do a great deal through a rich person who is humble and submitted to Him.
b) Never put your hope or confidence in money. The Bible is not against people have money (quite the contrary), but it is against you putting your confidence in it.
c) Acknowledge the fact that earthly riches are “uncertain”. If you trust in money, instead of trusting in God, you will quickly find out how uncertain money can be.
2. If you know earthly riches are “uncertain” (it can come and go), you put your hope and confidence in God, and you remain humble, God can trust you with money.
3. It’s okay to enjoy things. The Bible says God, “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
a) Not only will our God bless us with what we need, but our God is not opposed to blessing us with things richly to simply ENJOY. God wants us to make it to heaven, but He also wants us to enjoy the ride! It’s okay to enjoy the things you are blessed to possess.
b) Don’t love things, just enjoy them. God is okay with you enjoying what He blesses you with, but if you start loving ‘things’, you will have a problem.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus where money is concerned. I have a right relationship with money. I never put my hope or confidence in uncertain riches. I only put my hope and confidence in You Father, because You are my certain God. I remain humble. I am always available to You, to be led of You concerning what to do with what You put in my hands. I am rich in good deeds. I tithe, give offerings, finance ministry projects, and give to the poor. Therefore, Your Word teaches me that I am laying up treasure in heaven. And for that I am thankful! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.